Young Man Says Marijuana Led to Heroin Use in High School

Heroin

Chris’s Story –Audio Recording

Listen to this compelling 11 minute testimony from a bright teenager whose marijuana use led him to indulge in stronger drugs.

How can drug proponents say marijuana is not a gateway drug when in almost every case of heroin use we find a history where marijuana led to heroin?

Recording by ExactingEditor.com

A Look Inside the Brain of Young Marijuana Users

Recommended for educating school and community groups: In a 3-minute video, Crystal Dilworth explains how marijuana — even in small amounts — affects the developing brain, and changes its structure.  She makes a compelling case for why not to use for those under 25.

68 Treated in Northern California for BHO Burns

Since 2011, at least 68 people were treated for burns caused by butane hash oil fires and explosions, at northern California burn centers, including Shriners Hospital for Children, Sacramento, and at the UC Davis Regional Burn Center.

Usually those making BHO suffer the most, but several times it has happened at homes with children. The most recent baby who was badly burned in a hash oil (BHO) explosion was a 19-month old boy at a student housing complex in Montana.  The law has not kept up with the problem, as parents who engage in this deadly practice still have custody and visitation rights.  Children are threatened by neighbors who do it, too.

Butane hash oil (BHO) production is a marijuana extraction process which has exploded in popularity over the past three years. The victim had burns covering 28% of the body, according to Dr. David Greenhalgh, reporting to the Sacramento Bee in August.  A past president of the American Burn Association, he called hash oil burns an “epidemic.”  Greenhalgh’s research in wound care, skin grafts and reconstruction make him a leading national figure in the burn field.

Thanks to quick emergency response and to the quality of emergency medical treatment available in the United States,  it appears that all of the children have survived.  However, we have raised a group of young adults who are so accustomed to hearing “marijuana is safe” that they have no notion of the need to protect children from the dangers pot involves.

armhashoilburn
Photo, originally published in Oregonian, provided by Legacy Emanuel Burn Center. Top photo, Sacramento County Attorney’s office, fire in Arden-Arcade, CA, 2013

Those who make BHO and cause the explosions–31 in Colorado, this year, 20 in San Diego County within a year, 6 in Riverside County, 6 in San Bernardino County, 6 near Portland, OR and 7 in the Puget Sound—have been extraordinarily lucky.  Of those who died from hash oil explosions, at least one was in California, one in Oregon and one in Hawaii.  Two of the deaths were neighbors who were affected by the fires.  In Spokane, WA, a neighbor with respiratory problems died two months after the fire in January, while in Bellevue, WA, it was a former mayor of the city who died from a broken pelvis(see previous articles on this topic)

Downloadable Fact Sheet

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

Hash oil explosions increase with legal marijuana, as has happened up and down the west coast, including four explosions in late November, one each in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.  There is a question as to how much lax enforcement of marijuana laws in parts of Washington, Oregon and California have allowed the practices to continue.

Fires while in the Care of Neglectful Parents

At least 2 children died by fire this year when neglectful parents smoked marijuana.  BHO is not the only way marijuana users threaten children by fire, because pot-smoking parents can be “out of it” and consumed by addiction.   Two-year-old Levi Welton of Sterling, Colorado, was left alone with his four-year-old brother with matches while his parents smoked marijuana with friends in another room.  (The parents and his brother survived.) In Oregon, during the last week of October, a mother was high on marijuana as a fire consumed her four-year old son.   Neighbors reported her too stoned to be aware and to show any emotion when her son died.

It also happened last year in a state without a legal marijuana program. In Pennsylvania woman pled guilty to leaving her 3-year-old twins to die in a fire while she left the house to see whether her marijuana had been stolen by her 15-year-old daughter.  Police say the boys turned on a burner on a grease-covered stove, sparking flames that soon engulfed the house.

The cost of an addiction is putting the substance ahead of the loved ones.   About 1 in 6 who begin using marijuana under age 18 become addicted, although marijuana promoters claim it is not addictive.

Oregon recently enacted a law forbidding daycare employees and operators from using medical marijuana.  Let’s hope other states follow suit, and that, in family courts, states do not give custody and visitation rights to marijuana-using parents, especially those making BHO.

As California Gov Jerry Brown has said, the world is too dangerous a place for Americans not be alert by using pot.  This concept applies to parenthood.  Parenthood is too large a responsibility for us not to protect our children. We need not expose small children to the manufacture of BHO or put them in the care of parents who prioritize marijuana over their children.  However, when neighbors make hash oil, parents may have no warnings.

Our tolerance for marijuana has  taught a new generation of young adults that marijuana is safe.  Making BHO is mainly done in western states, but the explosions have happened in Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, Houston.  It will spread east if we don’t watch out.  No longer should anyone say, “safer than alcohol” or “it’s just pot.” We have sent the wrong message, and need to replace it with a message that parenting and pot use do not mix.

Legalization Doesn’t End Drug Wars

The cause of drug violence in Mexico, Central America  and South America is NOT the  US government, as the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), ACLU, NORML and Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) want us to think. Their argument that the violence of drug gangs and cartels is caused by US policy shows a lack of understanding of the nature of drugs.

If it’s not naivete, it’s probably outright deception to say government can tax marijuana and take profits away from criminals, and the pro-legalization forces probably realize it, too.  In fact, there’s plenty of evidence which  traces the US  heroin crisis, to Mexican cartels moving into poppies instead weed.

Marijuana businesses are incorporating with slick marketing campaigns.  Businesses run by MBAs, like Privateer Holdings, go forward, without a word from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FDA, the Treasury Department, or any other governmental agency that is constitutionally mandated to uphold federal laws.  It could be only a short time before big tobacco companies get into the market, too.

We’re being misled by Ethan Nadelmann, Keith Stroup, Mason Tvert and others who, along with their billionaire benefactors and a complicit media, have turned a dangerous psychotropic drug into a cause célèbre.  The marijuana industry pretends that the US government is to blame for the greedy violent wars between drug cartels, and that legions of people are in jail for drug possession alone.

Benicio del Toro in the 2012 film Savages. Top: Johnny Depp starred in Blow, played George Jung who -- now in jail -- brought the Columbian cocaine trade to the US
Benicio del Toro in the 2012 film Savages. Top: Johnny Depp starred in Blow, played George Jung who — now in jail — brought the Columbian cocaine trade to the US
Some state governments and/or voters  have surrendered to the drug culture because they’ve been misled.

 When Drug Wars Occur

Drug wars happen when growers and cartels compete to have the strongest, most potent strains of marijuana.   Drug wars go out of control when gangs and cartels fight for greater share of the obscene profits.  Competition for the stronger, “better” strains of marijuana — meaning high-THC — is a reason that marijuana is so much stronger today, quicker to cause psychosis and quicker to get our children hooked on it and other drugs.

We can see the violence that comes with the competition in the drug trade in the book and movie, Savages of 2012, with Benicio del Toro.  An earlier movie  Blow, in which Johnny Depp played notorious drug dealer George Jung, tries to illicit sympathy for the criminal who was instrumental in bringing the Columbian cocaine trade to the USA.  It is clear that greed and adventure motivated Jung, without concern about the harmful consequences to others.

Marijuana plants have undergone a huge genetic alteration over the last 20 years to get a higher THC content.   American cannabis plants have been interbred with the plants native to central Asia, where it is believed that the high THC content protected the plants from the sun. THC is the ingredient in marijuana which produces a high, now often as high as 20%, compared to an average around 1-3% in the 1970s.

Marijuana advocates who say “drug wars don’t work,”  play into current anti-government sentiments.  They say those who don’t agree with marijuana must be taking money from the drug-making companies, the police unions, alcohol industry, the prison or prison guard industry.  Otherwise, how could anyone not believe in their psychotropic drug that has been manipulated — to become stronger and to work medical miracles, as they claim? Now it’s revealed that the alcohol industry doesn’t care, and big pharmaceuticals aren’t fight it. In their twisted logic, marijuana financiers say the US has created cartel violence in Mexico. Violence of course has many causes including poverty.

childrendrugdeals
Photo courtesy of http://killthedemand.com/mm.html

Most marijuana is grown in the US now.  So Mexican cartels have moved into the heroin trade, and they have strong demand in the US.  There’s also evidence that cartels have moved out of Colorado into Central America, and are causing our heroin epidemic today.

Drug Policy – Violence Theory

The drug policy – violence theory also demonstrates a poor understanding of the nature of humanity.  Gangs and cartels are money-making paths that bring profits quickly.  Anyone can be lured into the profit motive without fully thinking of the harm, particularly when a person is young and risky behaviors make it seem exciting.  There is a certain “high” that comes from evading the law.

Criminal businesses will be always be attractive to both the rich and the poor.  Some cartel leaders are well-educated and even rich.  If it were only about income inequality, many would get out of the drug trade sooner.  We need to foster opportunities for the poor, so they don’t see drug dealing as the only route out of poverty.  Regardless of circumstances, the dealers, gangs and cartels are hungry for power.  They wouldn’t lose power over people, if pot became legal! They would branch out to other crimes such as human trafficking, and to stronger drugs.

Photo courtesy of http://killthedemand.com/mm.html
Photo courtesy of http://killthedemand.com/mm.html

Anyone who believe drug wars totally failed should explain:  Why  don’t we hear about Medillín Cartel any longer?  We should be happy that cocaine and crack are less prevalent in the US.

Those who criticize the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) need to realize that the child abuse that comes with drug usage is much greater than mistakes made by the DEA.